Coming off an election year marred by attempts to disenfranchise Democratic voters, Republicans around the country are already gearing up for the midterm elections with more antidemocratic initiatives.
This time it’s Virginia’s plan to rig the Electoral College, an idea which Jon Husted floated in November for Ohio and which has also been proposed in Pennsylvania. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has also endorsed the idea.
Here’s how it works:
There are 9 swing states that gave Republicans control of redistricting in 2010, and they were gerrymandered with uncompetitive House districts. Of these, there are 7 where Republicans have unitary government and can pass whatever they’d like.
If these 9 states follow the Virginia plan to allocate EC votes along gerrymandered Congressional lines, the Republican candidate would almost always get:
That’s a total of 99 GOP electoral votes to 38 Dem votes. To be fair, around 5 of those districts will be swing districts.
Adding that to the baseline of uncompetitive states (181 GOP to 196 Dem), that gives you the electoral starting point of:
280 safe GOP electors
234 safe Dem electors
24 swing electors
Or rather, it will be impossible for a Democrat to ever be elected president, and America will no longer be an electoral democracy.
Husted isn’t floating “hey, let’s try this wacky idea”. He’s floating “let’s not have elections anymore”.
Sure, new districts would come in 2022. But are we really going to win state legislatures in 2020, when Pres. Santorum is running for reelection in a sham race?
The Dems don’t even have a veto point in any states beyond MO and IA. Even if those states block the vote-rigging proposal, we’re at 265 safe GOP votes, with ties broken by a guaranteed GOP House. That means that a Dem would have to sweep MO, IA, NH, CO, NM, and NV. Not unthinkable—Obama took all but MO—but LBJ and Reagan are the only people to sweep all of those states.
I guess the upside of constantly comparing Obama to Stalin is that is frees you to actually propose that we elect our presidents the way the USSR elected their Premiere. Because what are we gonna say?
Luke Brockmeier is a former organizer with America Votes and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region. He ran for State Representative and is currently doing freelance work in Cincinnati.